This decision that pits IIT Kanpur against the central government was taken unanimously in the special meeting of the institute’s senate today. The senate set up a nine-member committee headed by Neeraj Mishra, professor in the department of mathematics and statistics, to design and administer this test, and coordinate with other IITs to join in.
Sources confirmed that IIT Delhi has warmed up to the idea and may bring in a similar resolution next week.
Sibal refused to comment.
Announcing its defiance, the IIT Kanpur senate passed a resolution that called the common exam “academically and methodically unsound” and in violation of the Institutes of Technology Act (1961) and IIT Kanpur Ordinances (Ordinance 3.2 (Admissions)). It recorded its “forceful dissent of the council resolution related to JEE”.
Sibal, who is chairman, IIT Council, had on May 28 announced a new common entrance exam for IITs and all other centrally funded technical institutes from 2013. This exam gives 40 per cent weight to Class XII board marks while screening students for admission to IITs. The exam is in two stages: Mains (for elimination) and Advanced which will decide the IIT merit list.
This was a “fraud” on the students, said Ajay Chaturvedi, spokesperson of the IIT Kanpur Senate. Speaking to The Indian Express, he said: “The Senate in five of seven IITs said that no changes should be made in the exam process in 2013. The reason is we want to give students time to prepare for a new format. Also, those who appeared for JEE in 2012 are eligible for a second attempt in 2013. It is only fair they do so in the familiar format. This basic demand was not agreed to. Accordingly, the IIT Kanpur Senate has resolved to conduct its own exam in 2013, this will be the usual JEE”, Chaturvedi said.
“The IIT council/HRD Ministry’s proposal on the new exam is not properly thought through. It is based on data and theory and hasn’t been tested at all. While changes are welcome, they cannot be pushed through forcibly”, Chaturvedi added.
When asked if the IIT Senate was empowered to conduct its own exam, Chaturvedi pointed out that existing ordinances say that IITs can jointly conduct an exam hence the effort to approach other IITs. Ironically, IIT Kanpur Director S G Dhande had closely worked with the HRD ministry to formulate the new common entrance exam format.
IIT Kanpur Senate’s resolution was welcomed by the All India IIT Faculty Federation and IIT Delhi. Said Atul Mittal, Secretary AIIITF: “IIT Delhi will call a special Senate meeting next week and is likely to pass a similar resolution. Other IITs will also be consulted and hopefully join us.”
IIT Guwahati Director Gautam Barua disagreed. “A Senate resolution does not mean anything in itself legally or practically,” said Barua. “An ordinance has to be moved and then taken to the Board of Governors of the IITs which has to mull whether an IIT Council decision can be overruled as is proposed by IIT Kanpur.”
Deepak Gupta, IIT Kanpur Senate Coordinator, said that the decision to conduct the common examination was a unilateral decision of the Ministry and Council of IITs against the advice and decisions of the IIT Kanpur Senate. The decision did not include 300 faculty members of the IITs, he said. (with ENS, Lucknow)